Party funding reform urgent - Phosa

2012-06-07 21:29

Johannesburg - Urgent reform is needed in political party funding, including greater transparency and caps on certain donations, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Thursday.

"South Africa is moving into dangerous and challenging territory. The private funding of political parties is unregulated. Public funding is insufficient for the needs of our parties," he told a party fund-raising workshop in Johannesburg.

He suggested four areas which needed to be transformed: the control of private donations; increased public funding; expenditure limits; and the introduction of greater transparency.

Private donations should be capped and declared publicly, if the donor wishes to do so.

"Certain kinds of donation could be capped such as foreign donations, trade union donations, donations from state-owned enterprises, donations from parties that do business with the state," Phosa said in notes prepared for delivery.

Donations to political schools and policy research institutes could be encouraged through tax incentives. General donations to support democracy could be routed through the Represented Political Parties Fund.

Phosa suggested that funds raised through bodies such as the ANC's Progressive Business Forum should be declared.

"We believe this initiative would allow the ANC to receive significant support from donors and to do so in a transparent and honest way."

He called for public funding to be significantly increased and fair funding formulas to be considered to help strengthen small parties.

Both the public and parties should know who has made donations.

A new body could be set up to oversee donations or this could be administered by the Independent Electoral Commission, he said.

Introducing reforms would be more likely to be successful if all parties were involved.

"The ANC is particularly well-placed to lead such a process. At this stage we do not know if opposition parties will join us in this effort."

The role of party-owned or party-linked companies was a complex problem, Phosa said.

"Is it desirable/ideal to have party-owned companies? If yes, how does one handle conflicts of interest and consequent inefficiencies in handling public resources?"

He said the ANC should debate this honestly and also consider the public embarrassment this could cause, especially during election periods.

"Companies sympathetic to the ANC, however, should not be discouraged from making open, transparent and legal donations.

"Dedicated ANC cadres working in the business sector, moreover, should not be discouraged from contributing to the movement."

Phosa called for new "integrity mechanisms" to ensure that conflicts of interests were managed and that the ability of ANC members to do business with the state was not abused.

He warned that if reforms were not made now, the corrupting effects of money would get worse.

"Soon the problem will escape beyond the possibility of meaningful control. If this happens, we will regret our inaction today.

"Our democracy should not be available or sold to the highest bidder."

  • Sharon - 2012-06-07 21:44

    Does hat mean that the ANC will now declare the "donations" received from China?

      stanton.clarke - 2012-06-07 21:54

      LOL, Good one Sharon.

  • lownabester - 2012-06-07 21:50

    Oh no how are they going to "Buy" a nice politian now???

  • Nicolaas - 2012-06-07 21:58

    More public funding Mr Phosa? Your ALL NATIONAL CORRPUT PARTY is already stealing all out tax money, how much public money you want to steal???

  • Henk - 2012-06-07 22:03

    "Soon the problem will escape beyond the possibility of meaningful control. If this happens, we will regret our inaction today." WHAT???? You can be more corrupt???? WTF????

  • Phepishi - 2012-06-07 22:09

    Strange coming from you baba

  • Renard De Souza - 2012-06-07 22:14

    That's what this country needs, agreed fully! Question now is have you shared this info due to sour grapes or are u genuinely concerned. Should it be the later I am taken back. In reality I think peoples hands are so deep down others pockets that we have already reached a point of no return in my opinion.

  • TawwaTienie - 2012-06-07 22:18

    Mr Phoza. What about the corruption at all levels of Governments, mining companies, tenders, trust funds. Escom, etc? Arms deals. Find the money! The people stole that and should also be declared and used for job creations and serviced houses. Send illegals back to their countries.

  • mamadih - 2012-06-07 22:21

    You know this country is a sinking titanic ship under the so called ANC, what is it with this reform whereas they can't even deliver to the poor of the poorest. this is disgusting.

      Goboza Mashaba - 2012-06-07 22:44

      there's no other better party than the so called ANC! the rest are merely big mouth with ulterior motives who cant do anything for the country! its a tried and tested!

      Irene - 2012-06-07 23:00

      Goboza ~ Thinking obviously isn't your strong point. It lets you down every time so rather don't do it.

  • Fourhundredkg - 2012-06-07 22:22

    Dear Mr Phosa The tribe has spoken. Please leave the council area immediately.

  • Gary - 2012-06-07 22:28

    I agree with what he said, however I worry about the motives. In an ideal world the more transparency there is the better. But what if one party is held to a different standard to another. Ie. in South Africa do we have the means to monitor all parties monies and not just the opposition?

  • - 2012-06-07 22:49

    Wow, I have to say totally true. This is the ANC Treasurer saying that party funding must be regulated. I now admire this man more than any martyr before. Yes Chancellor House is in essence corrupt; yes Kopano Ke Matla is corrupt because these vehicles subjugate the people through intransience. I am not surprised that this virtuous call comes from Phosa for he is one of the last democrats with any authority in the ANC. I wish you well Mathews Phosa, but I imagine your colleagues in the ANC won’t be offering you the best of wishes. Please return your institution from the insanity that has taken over. You might be the only hope.

  • Ivan Overton - 2012-06-07 22:54

    "Public funding is insufficient for the needs of our parties" - well, perhaps limit yourselves to Johnny Walker Black and local bubbly then... :-)

  • Renard De Souza - 2012-06-08 07:36

    @ Ivan , priceless

  • tobydt - 2012-06-08 07:49

    Well, the DA has been calling for these reforms for ages now. The ANC in past has refused to disclose its donors and funders. The DA said it would disclose its interests, if the ANC does. Good news for everyone. As for parastatals donating cash to political parties... I cant believe Im even reading this...

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